George Edward Alexander Ford

Date of birth: 22nd October 1898
Place of birth: Southampton
Regiment / Division: Royal Navy
Vessel: SS Glenfoyle (HMS Stonecrop)
Rank / Service No: Ordinary Seaman, J/68200
Died: 18th September 1917, aged 18 years
Commemorated: Portsmouth Naval Memorial

 

George was the fourth of 6 known siblings born to George Alexander and Annie Ellen Ford (nee Wray), who married in Southampton in 1891.

It must be assumed that one child died in infancy.

 

Both parents were born in Southampton, Annie in 1871 and George in 1872.

Annie passed away in the New Forest in 1951 and George died in the city in 1960.

 

The family lived at 33 Graham Road, Northam.

 

Siblings

Alice Henrietta   b. 1892 Southampton   d. 1979 Southampton   Married Charles G. Pilkington in Winchester in 1919.

Elsie Hilda   b. 26 July 1894 Southampton   d. 1987 Southampton   Married Leonard Arthur C. Everist in Croydon in 1914.

Margaret Elizabeth b. 1896 Southampton   d. December 1916 Southampton   Married Robert R. Gillard in Southampton in 1915.

George Edward Alexander 

Gertrude Kathleen   b. 18 February 1901 Southampton   d. 3rd quarter 2001 Farnborough   Gertrude managed to receive a telegram from the Queen and was proof that spinsters can thrive !!

William Alexander   b. 1904 Southampton   d. 1994 Southampton   Married Amelia F. Bond in Southampton in 1927.

 

George enlisted on 5 March 1917 and joined Glenfoyle on 1 August 1917. Glenfoyle was a Q ship and went under the other names of Stonecrop and Winona.

Q-ships were commissioned vessels manned by Royal Navy crews. Typically they were ordinary merchant ships fitted with hidden guns.

 

The idea was that a submarine would surface and a panic party would flee the Q-ship. As the submarine neared the Q-ship, crews would man the hidden guns and hopefully sink the U-boat.

Crewing a Q-ship was one of the most hazardous duties in the war at sea. U-boats sank twice as many Q-ships as Q-ships sank submarines.

 

11 U-boats were sunk by Q-ships, 29 Q-ships were lost during the war, 22 to U-boats.

 

Glenfoyle / Stonecrop had engaged U-151 on 17 September 1917, but only slightly damaged the U-boat.

 

The next fateful day, the vessel was sunk by a torpedo fired from U-43 (Waldemar Bender). This showed that the Q-ship concept did not work when the submarine launched a torpedo attack first, before surfacing as the Q-ship was sinking.

 

It is not known the number of crew lost.

 

 

Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 19th July 2016
Updated:

 

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